Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4)" by Jim Butcher

Cover from Goodreads
This review features a book that is the fourth in the series, and may have minor spoilers for those who have not read Storm FrontFool Moon, and Grave Peril. My critique of Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) can be found here.

I've been in love with faeries ever since I read Tithe as a thirteen year old: beings that seem angelic up close, but below the skin, they hold darker intents. I was sure if there was to be any Dresden Files book I would absolutely love, this would be it.

Nope, Sorry Litha. Reaction Gifs
I suppose I was wrong to have such high hopes. This read certainly was less busty than the last (two mentions of breasts vs. eleven in Grave Peril), which is a good vast improvement, but at the same time, sometimes I wonder if Harry Dresden will ever grow up. It feels a bit like that has-been college athlete who hangs out with the new college kids trying to hold on to the glory days- except in Dresden's case, there's a bunch of young werewolves.

The Plot:
Harry has been asked, by yet another damsel in distress (in Harry's world, damsels in distress grow on trees and guys never ask for help with magical issues- ever) to help with a murder investigation. Trouble is, the damsel turns out to be the Winter Faerie Queen Mab, the murder looks to be an accident to the average detective, and Mab has the most motive to kill the Summer Knight. And Mab also has the keys to his freedom, or his destruction, in her hands...

Harry Dresden has minor faults that never cease to annoy me. He is always Captain Unprepared, never having what he really needs on hand when the item is most needed. Mr. Dresden also never takes care of himself- at the end of battles or brawls, it always falls to someone else to patch him up, as he's busy recovering his wits staring into space. And, in this book, despite frequent pleas to cut his hair, he never does. Leading me to feel like I need to do this:

Will cutting a wizard's hair take his strength away? No, just his vagrant-esque look.
And I'm also starting to feel the covers for the Dresden Files are deceiving- I don't recall Harry throwing on an old cowboy hat at any point in this book. During the final battle, he dons a debonair black Coca-Cola cap with a red label, and realistically, the cover should reflect this:

What Hairy Dresden Looks Like For the Final Battle, 'Merica Style
In the end, Summer Knight lived up to my expectations of the first two Dresden Files, with plenty of humor, action scenes, and dorkiness to be found. Although my grievances with Harry stand, I generally find him quite likeable when he's not being stupid or slavering over the fae ladies. And, despite the similar ratings, I consider this book my favorite of the Dresden Files so far.

Rating: Bouncing back up to 3.5 of 5 Stars, for a better-than-the-last-Dresden-File book.

Content: The usual fare of violence, innuendos, and inexplicable blurtings of Hell's Bells. Ages 18+

Page Count: 376 pages in the ebook edition

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